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2017/07/26 Great Britain Day 01: Bath
π 2017-07-26 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #1: Rain.

After landing in Heathrow and picking up our rental car, we drove directly to Bath. We got there by 16:00-ish and that was just enough time to check in our B&B and go to Bath Abbey, visit and take the tower tour for nice views of the area from high up:










Next, we went to the Roman Baths who got excavated pretty recently. They have the only natural hot source of water in the UK:






warm and full of minerals
warm and full of minerals


In the evening (daylight until 21:30), we did the bizarre path night comedy tour. The humour was ok depending on who you ask :) but it also included a few acts of magic that were actually not bad. Not essential to do, but not a waste of time and money either :)





And that was it for our first half day in England.

See more images for Great Britain Day 01: Bath
2017/07/27 Great Britain Day 02: Bath, Avebury and Stonehenge
π 2017-07-27 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #2: Rain

Since the walking tour of Bath only started at 10:30, we had some time to kill and we went to a nearby park to get a nice elevated view of bath, before going back down and joining our tour:










Next, we went towards Avebury for its random Stonehenge Area stones and burial sites:





For stonehenge, we avoided the complicated 2H+ tour that doesn't even let you walk to the site anymore (just around) and went to view it from a public road without dealing with the shuttles and time we didn't have:




what they found
what they found

what it's supposed to look like :)
what it's supposed to look like :)

And that was it for day #2. It may seem short but really it wasn't due to the amount of driving involved...

2017/07/28 Great Britain Day 03: Salisbury and Wells
π 2017-07-28 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #3: Rain

We started with Salisbury's Cathedral, super nice. It was moved from a nearby city, old sarum some many years back, and it was beautiful:





nice fountain
nice fountain





one of the 4 remaining copies of the magna carta (basically making the kings be nicer to their people)
one of the 4 remaining copies of the magna carta (basically making the kings be nicer to their people)


The best part was the tower tour:



the big wheel was used to take building material to the top of the church to build the huge spire that was added (and added enough weight to almost collapse the entire church)
the big wheel was used to take building material to the top of the church to build the huge spire that was added (and added enough weight to almost collapse the entire church)

it went much higher, but on percarious ladders, the tour itself stopped half way up
it went much higher, but on percarious ladders, the tour itself stopped half way up

view of sunny england :)
view of sunny england :)


We then went to the nearby museum:





Next, we drove to Wells, who has its own nice cathedral:







Nextdoor was Bishop's Palace:






And we finished at Glastonbury Abbey, "england's finest ruins" as they say ;)



Another day over, lots of driving, including many crappy roads again :)

2017/07/29 Great Britain Day 04: Wales: Tintern Abbey, Caerphilly, Welsh Folk Museum, Cardiff Bay
π 2017-07-29 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #4: Light Rain

For our 3rd B&B, this was our best breakfast so far. English breakfasts haven't been bad as a whole as long as you avoid the sausage :)

We then had a longish drive to Whales and started with the Tintern Abbey ruins:




Next, we drove to Caerphilly Castle which was interesting, but sadly we came the weekend of a festival, so the place was packed and most of the castle was closed:


interesting that this is still standing
interesting that this is still standing




After that we went to Fagans National History Museum which is an open air Welsh folk museum:





interesting decors in the small church
interesting decors in the small church




From there, we headed to Cardiff for the night and went to the Bay for a walk in rain (not fun) and dinner, before heading back to our room:



fishing in the rain while covered
fishing in the rain while covered

nice beach, great sunbathing :)
nice beach, great sunbathing :)


2017/07/30 Great Britain Day 05: Driving around Cotswold, Snowshill Manor and Blenheim Palace
π 2017-07-30 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #5: Rain, Sun, Rain

We started the morning by driving around Cotswold to burn time until we could get to Snowshill Manor that only opened at 11:00





Once we got to Snowshill Manor, we got a ticket to visit the manor at noon, and visited the grounds until then. The manor has a great collection of just about everything:










Last we Blenheim Palace, a huge palace with great gardens, where Churchill was brought up and used to live:








Then we went to see the several gardens:



a maze under the rain, good way to be motivated to get out quickly :)
a maze under the rain, good way to be motivated to get out quickly :)




We then finished in Northleach for the night. I found a tempting car to switch my rental car, for :)



2017/07/31 Great Britain Day 06: Cotswold - Stratford-upon-Avon - Birmingham
π 2017-07-31 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #6: More rain

We started the day by going to Bourton-on-the-Water, a nice little town by a river:



Next, we went through Stow-on-the-Wold and then Bourton-on-the-Hill:









sun dials need sun to work
sun dials need sun to work


From there, we drove to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare:












Shakespeare's tomb
Shakespeare's tomb


Shakespeare theatre
Shakespeare theatre




We then finished the day by driving to Birmingham for the night.

2017/08/01 Great Britain Day 07: From Birmingham, to Blists Hill Village, back to Wales and Llechwedd Mine Tour, and on to Conwy
π 2017-08-01 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #7: Rain and a bit of sun, and rain

I started the day by taking a few pictures of downtown Birmingham around our hotel:







Next, we drove to Blists Hill Victorian Town, a recreated mining town. It was not as good as Ballarat in Australia, but still decent:














And then we had a long drive to Llechwedd for its deep mine tour, which we barely got there in time, for:









and from there, more driving still, to reach Conwy, our base for the next 2 nights.

2017/08/02 Great Britain Day 08: Caernarfon's Castle, Beddgelert Village, Snowdon
π 2017-08-02 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #8: Rain, and more rain that ruined our time around Snowdon, especially the ride to the top :(

After breakfast, a short-ish drive to Caernarfon's Castle, an old british fort, still in good shape:






We got to see someone play the organ in the nearby church, very cool:


We then drove to Beddgelert, which was supposed to be for a nice walk around, but it was just pouring rain:




Next, we drove back to snowdon, a mining town where slate is harvested, for our train tour to the top:







And last was going to be our mining train tour, but the weather was just bad and we didn't get to see much for more than half the trip:


diesel vs steam
diesel vs steam

poor hikers who did all this in the rain for no views
poor hikers who did all this in the rain for no views

yeah coal!
yeah coal!

great views
great views

note the rack and pinion track
note the rack and pinion track


And that was it for the day, honestly it the weather ruined a lot of it.

2017/08/03 Great Britain Day 09: Conwy and on to Liverpool
π 2017-08-03 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #9: light rain, some sun

We did a tour of Conwy in the evening and the next morning, including walking the medieval city walls which are in surprisingly good shape. Conwy castle was actually built by the British to rule the surrounding Welsh, and it was nice to visit:

only a few ways in the city
only a few ways in the city


found during our walk of the city walls
found during our walk of the city walls

Castle:










The bridge to the next town had an old bridge built to match the castle, a 2nd castle like bridge for the train, and then an uninspiring bridge for more cars:


Rest of the city:




you could play catch and release crab fishing
you could play catch and release crab fishing



the seagulls didn't release as much the crabs they caught
the seagulls didn't release as much the crabs they caught

not big indeed :)
not big indeed :)



Plas Mawr was another house from that time:




By then, it was noon-ish, so we left to go to Liverpool and started with the metropolitan cathedral, which was built recently and is definitely modern looking:






the crypt underneath is much older
the crypt underneath is much older


We then moved our car next to our hotel and went to see the Museum of Liverpool as well as the Merseyside Maritime Museum, but sadly we had only 2 hours for both, which wasn't close to being enough:







examples of smuggling in the maritime museum
examples of smuggling in the maritime museum

slavery section of the museum
slavery section of the museum



By 18:00, we got kicked out, and we took an uber (or first one) back to the other cathedral in liverpool (the main one). It is absolutely huge







We then got tickets for a tour to the top:





And then we got to learn about the church bells and saw folks who were practising playing them. The impressive part was that they could ring the bells while having the bells not actually make sound, and then had a computer that would reproduce the exact sound the bells should make. This allowed them to practise playing without actually bothering everyone around in the city. Super nice!


We then finished the (long) day by walking to Chinatown, which outside of the big gate and a few Chinese restaurants, was not that impressive:



2017/08/04 Great Britain Day 10: Hiking around the Lake District (Glenridding, Howtown, Keswick)
π 2017-08-04 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Hiking, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #10: very occasional light rain, aka a fine sunny day in Great Britain (good given the hours of hiking we did)

On the way to the lake district, we stopped by Dove Cottage/Wordsworth Museum, which while having some nice cottages, was kind of boring given that I had no idea who the former inhabitant (poet/writer) was



But this put us on the way to the hilly region around lakes, where we did a couple of hikes:



after parking our car, we took the boat across the lake
after parking our car, we took the boat across the lake

and we did that hike back (11km, 2h20-ish)
and we did that hike back (11km, 2h20-ish)






We then got back to our car, and we drove to the next lake by Keswick, and did the catbell hike to the local top. Thank god for long days, we were able to start late-ish in the afternoon when there was room in the 8 car only trailhead location. That hike was a lot more steep and gave better views:



then we hiked down around and back down to the lake
then we hiked down around and back down to the lake

those were all over
those were all over


And after close to 20km/4.5h of hiking, we drove to our gastro pub for well needed food :)

2017/08/05 Great Britain Day 11: Keswick Scenic Drive, Castlerigg, on to Durham
π 2017-08-05 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Day #11: heavy rain at times

After breakfast in our B&B, we were supposed to go for a scenic loop around the lake and the hills. As a reward for trying, we got pretty bad rain, so I drove the loop quickly and may have set a lap time record for wet conditions :)


'fantastic' views
'fantastic' views


The highlight was 'surprise view' up a crappy road. I still had to take these pictures under an umbrella:




Before leaving the area, we stopped by Castlerigg Stone Circle which is another version of stonehenge, just less famous and with smaller rocks:




We then drove to Hadrian's Wall. That was quite interesting, I didno't know the Romans had invaded England all the way to Scotland, and after dealing with the crazies of the north, they figured it was easier to build a very long wall across a narrow part of England, and hold their position. Most people don't know that there is a second wall higher north, Antonine Wall which was the 2nd line the Romans built as they proceeded further north, but eventually they gave up the fight, and retreated to the Handrian Wall.

After holding the line for a few hundred years, the romans eventually decided that England didn't really have much value and wasn't worth all the effort they put into keeping it, so they just let it go. In the meantime, Hadrian's Wall was a formidable construction at the time (likely only rivalled by the Great Wall of China). I think the only problem is that they built the wall, but they didn't get Scotland to pay for it :)

The Romans had impressive positions in England
The Romans had impressive positions in England




Along the wall, they had forts, and I think with the crappy british weather and the mud, many artifacts were preserved in the mud and are now being unearthed, giving lots of valueable info on the Roman Empire:


Next door was Vindolanda, a big fort:







sadly the buildings didn't really survive the passage of time
sadly the buildings didn't really survive the passage of time


Nearby you could hike next to remaining bits of the wall:




every roman mile, there was a small fort to keep the line
every roman mile, there was a small fort to keep the line

And we went to see Housesteads Roman Fort, where we got poured on by the end of our visit:


the wall keeps going but is missing most of its height
the wall keeps going but is missing most of its height



After we were done, we drove to Durham to see the cathedral and castle where we slept:

city tour under the rain
city tour under the rain











the cathedral got rebuilt in legos
the cathedral got rebuilt in legos





The next morning, we had breakfast in the great hall:


2017/08/06 Great Britain Day 12-14: Edinburgh
π 2017-08-06 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

Days #12-14: more rain on and off. until finally, on the 14th day, UK-wide rain stopped.

We left Durham early in the morning and drove to Scotland:


We first headed out to the retired Royal Yacht Britannia, which you can enter from a shopping mall. It's the Yacht where the royal family would travel the world and "be royal" and go on vacation, with the UK taxpayer's money. Good scheme they have running... In some ways, it's not quite unlike airforce one, except much slower, and bigger of course:





onboard doctor
onboard doctor

with so much uniform changing, because uniforms are important, a huge washing station
with so much uniform changing, because uniforms are important, a huge washing station

Nice machine room
Nice machine room

After the boat, we drove to another Georgian House for a tour:



We then used our last few hours in the rental car and drove to Holyrood Park and hiked up to Arthur's Seat for an elevated view of the city:







the castle, and old town
the castle, and old town

never had the time to look that one up, maybe a ski slope in the winter?
never had the time to look that one up, maybe a ski slope in the winter?

We then went to drop off the car, and we walked to our B&B to drop off our luggage:

the park shortcut was scenic but not faster
the park shortcut was scenic but not faster


We then went out for our nice dinner at Number One





Sightseeing-wise, it was kind of a short day since we only arrived in Edinburgh a bit after noon due to the longish drive.

The next morning, we started with the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the queen stays when she's around. Sadly, no pictures in the palace:





what's left of the chapel attached to the Palace
what's left of the chapel attached to the Palace

Next, we went to the Scottish Parliament Building for a guided tour. Yes, Scotland has its own Parliament as they are given some autonomy and self rule. You can tell the parliament is recent, it's extremely well designed and with a fair system that puts broken systems like the US one to shame (with stupid things like filibusturing):


each MP gets a small pod office where tthey can work in between sessions
each MP gets a small pod office where tthey can work in between sessions

the parliament building has a very nice architecture, but no pictures inside
the parliament building has a very nice architecture, but no pictures inside

From the parliament we walked up the royal mile:

we got stopped by this in the street
we got stopped by this in the street

oink, why don't we have an oink where we live?
oink, why don't we have an oink where we live?

A few things on the way, several churches, a museum of Edinburgh which sadly we didn't have the time to see later, and a few more things:




St. Giles Cathedral was quite nice:



National Convenant
National Convenant





We then ended up at the museum of scotland, a museum of everything, and that sucked the rest of the time we had that day

Since sadly this was another museum that closed as dearly as 17:00, we had another 4H of daylight left. In July/August, the whole city has a big festival with hundreds of things happening every day. I got a ticket for a student designed video game room, and then a play for an incredibly cheap price (and yet it was well acted):



this game designed on a single neopixel strip was actually brilliant
this game designed on a single neopixel strip was actually brilliant

We then went to check out Camera Obscura, which had decent surrounding views from its top, and some illusions on its floors below:











Last, but not least, we headed for our play, departure lounge, which had simplistic decors, but was well acted:


The next morning, we went first thing to the Edinburgh Castle and as soon as we got in, we made a beeline for the Scottish Crown Jewels, which quickly had a 30-45mn line soon after we went (we beat everyone there and got in with no line at all). I got tickets online which while print at home ended up working fine on my phone, they scanned us and we got straight in:


line starts early
line starts early



crown jewels
crown jewels



Nice views from the castle:





Next, we went to the national gallery (I opted to skip the portrait gallery):




The had an annex with other art :)



We then walked around town a bit to hit some waypoints Jennifer set :)



million pounds
million pounds

Next was another victorian house, which honestly was a full waste of time which would have been better spent at the Edinburgh museum or the dynamic earth. Oh well...


Since everything useful was closing early again, Jennifer went to do some scotch tasting:


We then walked around town a bit, and took a bus to our anniversary dinner at The Kitchin.


2017/08/09 Great Britain Day 15-16: York
π 2017-08-09 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk

We took an early train from Edinburgh to York, went to our B&B to drop our luggage, and went right away to the nearby National Railway Museum (on its own page)

not a super bad ass looking train, but it got us there
not a super bad ass looking train, but it got us there

After the train museum, we went to York Minster, the local cathedral:



It was a bit of a mess getting tickets for it, but we did the climb to the top, which was fun and had good views:




We got a few views of town:



Pictures from inside:







During the day, we went to the museum by St Mary's Abbey:






We then had an early dinner and went for the evening walking tour through town (2H):







The next morning, we went early for the Jorvik Viking Center, which has nice exhibits and a nice tour/ride, but ridiculous lines, which thankfully I was able to get through with a fasttrack ticket:





Last, but not least, the poorly named "York Castle Wall", which is actually a fairly large museum of lots of things, including an old town recreation, and much more:







And it's also a bit of a museum of everything:




Once I was done with York, we could/should have just left early and gone to London, but we had a prebooked night in the B&B plus a prebooked train, so since we had time left in York one way or another, I took an uber to the nearby Yorkshire Air Museum

See more images for Great Britain Day 15-16: York
2017/08/11 Great Britain Day 17-21: 4.5 Days in London
π 2017-08-11 01:01 in Greatbritain2017, Ntrips, Trips, Uk
Our last destination in Great Britain was London. I knew before we even arrived in Great Britain, that 4.5 days wasn't quite enough to visit London properly, but we made our best of it and did a reasonable job, considering: we probably did in 4.5 days what other people do in 6 or 7 :)

Day 1 (half day)

We started early in York with a direct train to London:

Haha, no offence, but English trains are so far from matching Japanese trains
Haha, no offence, but English trains are so far from matching Japanese trains

case in point...
case in point...

After arriving in London we dropped our luggage and went directly to Westminster Abbey. Very nice Abbey, but not only quite expensive to get in, and then to thank you for the good money you just spent, no pictures allowed inside (they used to be allowed apparently). Needless to say that, that didn't stop me, especially with the hefty entrance fee:







We then headed to the parliament for self guided tour:




Next was the Churchill war rooms, a complex of underground rooms where most of the british high command, including Churchill, were bunkered during the war. Outside of the war, they had lots of information on Churchill's life:




Next, still, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design. We saw half of it during a 4H visit during its extended hours (18:00 to 22:00).
It was a really interesting visit, despite half the museum being closed, which meant I had to go back a few days later. But wait, the day was not over yet, it was just about time for me to head over to the ministry of sound to go see andrew rayel who happened to be playing that night.

Day 2

After not quite enough sleep, I got up and headed over to the British Museum, another awesome museum that kept me busy from open to close (10:00 to 17:30).

After the british museum, I went to check out Tate Modern. Honestly, except for the views from the top of the building, it was a bit of a waste:




Given the Tate Modern wasn't that good, I had just enough time to go to the theatre district and go catch a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I had mixed feelings about it. It was interesting in some ways, but boring and too long in others:


theatre seats were also most small and uncomfortable
theatre seats were also most small and uncomfortable

Jennifer spent the day with her friend Anna who came from nearby, given that they hadn't seen one another and she had already been to the british museum anyway.

Day 3

We started from our hotel and took a quick bus ride to the Sherlock Holmes museum. Honestly, we went because it was in the list of recommended things, but it was a waste for us since we haven't read the books:




people send him letters from around the world
people send him letters from around the world


Next door, beatles store:


We then walked to the free Wallace Collection, a very nice building with a great collection:







After a good tour of the Wallace Collection, we headed to London War Museum, which took much longer than I had planned, it's quite out of the way, but worth it for sure.

Once done, we headed back to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. Barely had over an hour for both, but turned out to be just enough for me :)







Once we got kicked out at 18:00, we had just enough time to walk to Rodizio to get BBQ meats served at our table, and walk to our theatre for our evening show. That show was the play that goes wrong, a nice idea, but the theatre staff was a bunch of dicks and totally ruined our experience before we even got in, by trying to steal all the food we had in our backpacks, claiming we could not carry it in, or check the bags in, we just had to throw it out (which is actually not written anywhere in their terms and conditions):




Day 4

The next morning, went to St Paul's Cathedral, because it opens early (08:30) while everyone else seems lazy in England/London and opens at 10:00 (a bit earlier if you're lucky). Very nice cathedral, interesting crypt with famous people burried there, and a cool climb to the top. For some reason another place that thought it would make sense to disallow pictures, sigh...










Next, we walked to the Tower of London, which thankfully was not too busy on a monday (some other days have stupid lines to get in). Interesting castle to visit, many displays:





got to see the other crown jewels
got to see the other crown jewels



multiple tours and performances
multiple tours and performances



they had beafeaters giving tours of the monument
they had beafeaters giving tours of the monument



Great views of the London Bridge from there:




Next, we went to the monument of the great london fire, lots of steps, but nice views from the top:




The museum of london was not far nearby, so we went there:


My plan was next to go to the British Library, which had extended opening hours on mondays, but just to screw with us, that did not include the famous room with all the manuscripts that we specifically went there to see. In other words, we went there for absolutely nothing, grr...


That evening, we then had a dinner at Google, and I got to see one of my schoolmates and friends

Day 5

I started early by going to Tate Britain. It was all right, but nothing beyond that. Maybe worth 1H for me:




More things to see that day (on separate pages):

  • Next, I went back to the V&Albert Museum, where I had a lot left to see
  • the London Science Museum, which ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would
  • The included the plane section of the museum
  • The science museum actually took the rest of my day, and I never made it to the nearby natural science museum, which had a stupid 1H+ line outside every time I looked at it. I guess it'll be for another time (and my understanding is that it take a full day to visit anyway). I just had enough time to meet Jennifer at the theatre where we went to see Matilda, a nice musical:


    City Views

    Since I have a fair amount of city view shots from bridges and higher buildings, I thought I'd put them all together, here:

    City Views from bridges:






    From higher up:



    St Paul's
    St Paul's








    Day 6, trip home

    Our last day was just a trip to the airport, and enjoy the indeed worth to visit Virgin Lounge, which had food, cocktails and smoothies to order of course, but also a hairdresser, pool table, terrace with view, and more. The lounge was much better than the plane, which while not uncomfortable, was dated:




    light snack to order during the flight :)
    light snack to order during the flight :)

    2017/08/14 Quick Visit of the London Kings Cross Google Building
    π 2017-08-14 01:01 in Google, Greatbritain2017, Uk
    My coworkers were complaining that their office wasn't much to look at, they are waiting to move into a new uber office that will be awesome, but unfortunately the foundations were just being laid, so it's going to be a little while before it's ready. Still, got a few pictures:





    One nice feature was all the post it ASCII art :)





    bubble bobble!
    bubble bobble!

    Nice views from the cafe terrace:




    got to see my school friend Jerome, who works from that office
    got to see my school friend Jerome, who works from that office


    2021/08/23 4 Days around London
    π 2021-08-23 01:01 in England2021, Ntrips, Uk
    As part of my 2021 quick festival tour of england, ultimately for Creamfields and ABGT 450, I first arrived in London.
    I had already done a pretty thorough visit of London in 2017, so I went to look for extra things I hadn't seen yet, some slightly outside of London (like the RAF Museum or Bletchley Park) -

    United managed to get me there 3 hours late, so I was late for my private appointement and tour of Mclaren Technology Centre in Woking, but thankfully they were half shutdown (August holidays), so while I had a slightly more limited tour (factory floor was closed), my host Jeff nicely waited for me and gave me a nice private tour (read more about it here:




    After a way overpriced cab to Woking so that I wouldn't be more late than necessary, I took a train to London:



    After checking in my hotel, I went to meet my schoolmate Jerome Abela for a nice dinner at Orrery. Yummy french food with seared foie gras :)



    For day #2, my plan was to go to London's RAF Museum, which is somewhat outside of London:


    On my way back, I had enough time to go see a few others museums. I started with the British Libary which had its room of treasures closed last time I went:



    Next, I went to the London Transport Museum which was actually a good visit outside of them having limitations on number of people who can visit:


    I then had enough time for a couple of nice crepes (my first meal of the day), before going to see a musical (back to the future) after walking around a bit to burn time until the show:







    the show was pretty good, I enjoyed it
    the show was pretty good, I enjoyed it

    Day #3, I had to take my post arrival covid test, which seemed very pointless as it took 7 days from arrival to get the results, but it was required for my trip to the UK:


    I then took a train to [Betchley park and the National Museum of Computing, which took the entire day, they were fantastic (click me)|perso/sciencemuseums/post_2021-08-25_Bletchley-Park-_-National-Museum-of-Computing.html]




    By the time I was done (full day), got a train back to London to spend the rest of the evening:


    One cool thing about public transport in London is that you can now just tap your android phone and get in and out without a ticket.


    I went to se Mary Poppins that night. The not so great thing was that on one was wearing a mask. Unsurprisingly London got a lot more covid after that:

    Harry Potter wasn't ready yet
    Harry Potter wasn't ready yet


    it was a pretty good show
    it was a pretty good show

    anyone who knows above and beyond acoustic, knows why I took this picture :)
    anyone who knows above and beyond acoustic, knows why I took this picture :)

    Day #4, I had some time in the morning to go see Mme Tussauds (much better than I expected) before taking a train to Warrington where I was going for Creamfields.




    All in all, it was not an in depth visit of London, but it wasn't meant to be either. Very happy that I got to see the RAF Museum, the British Library, and Betchley Park. Those alone were worth the trip, glad I got to see them.

    See more images for 4 Days around London
    2021/08/26 4 Days in Warrington for Creamfields
    π 2021-08-26 01:01 in England2021, Ntrips, Uk
    So, given that it was 4 days of my England 2021 trip (and actually the main reason for the trip in the first place), I have to mention Warrington where I stayed four nights at an AirBnB. Getting lodging was challenging to say the least.

    So, there is honestly no reason to go to Warrington, unless you're going to Creamfields, which is what I did (read creamfields report). There is unfortunately no real usable public transport to go to creamfields, and it's a really long walk. I would have gotten a bike, but it was not easy to rent one either (and still a 30mn+ ride).
    I ended up relying on uber, which doesn't formally cover the city, but with a bit of luck, you could get a car driving around the area. Cabs were not super timely or reliable either. The biggest issue was getting back from creamfields, the busses were limited, the taxi line was 1h+, and getting an uber on saturday or sunday was really hard.
    You're apparently supposed to camp onsite, but given that it's a mud field with occasional torrential rains, and that I had lots of electronics to keep safe and charge overnight, that was a non starter, so I went the uber route and had to get very creative to get back on saturday and sunday
    -

    So there you go for Warrington. It is neatly located between Liverpool and Manchester, so there is that :)

    2021/08/30 Manchester Day Trip
    π 2021-08-30 01:01 in England2021, Ntrips, Uk
    As part of my 2021 quick festival tour of england, after visiting Creamfields, I wen tfrom Warrington towards Manchester, because why not?

    I'll be honest that Manchester is not a must go destination. I was nearby and had an extra day, so I went to check it out. It had a couple of non essential but decent enough museums, and an ok cathedral :) -

    Given that trains were complicated and the Manchester Imperial War Museum North was inconvenient to get to via public transport, so I just took a direct uber there, Manchester is not too far. Because it was a day trip without a car, I had my luggage in tow, which made all museums uneasy, they are so scared about bombs and they don't care about profiling, everyone is a suspect. After looking at my luggage, they agreed to stash it during my visit, The museum was ok:






    those small tethered blimbs were put over potential targets to entangle planes that might want to attack
    those small tethered blimbs were put over potential targets to entangle planes that might want to attack


    It was a decent enoough museum, after I was done, I took another uber to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (click me). It was only ok given that its biggest hangar with planes was being renovated:



    After that, like an idiot who can't plan, I totally spaced on the fact that there was a google office that I forgot to visit, oops, so instead I went to the cathedral before it closed, and caught the next hourly train to Liverpool:





    After things were closing up in Manchester, took a direct train to Liverpool, just about 1h away



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    2021/08/31 Full Day in Liverpool
    π 2021-08-31 01:01 in England2021, Ntrips, Uk
    As part of my 2021 quick festival tour of england, after visiting Creamfields, I went from Warrington to Manchester, and then Liverpool.

    I had already been in liverpool for less than half a day in 2017. but only saw the museum of liverpool and maritime museum, and the 2 cathedrals (then again, not bad for less than half a day). So this time, I went to see the rest :)
    -

    After getting there the night before, I was setup for the next day.





    The next morning, I got up bright and early and went to see Beatles Story first:









    I had a quick look at the maritime museum again, although I had mostly seen it last time:




    The Tate Liverpool, I had a quick look, but modern art is never really my thing:





    Next, I went to visit the Western Approaches WWII Museum, which is a bunch of displays in underground bunkers, not unlike the similar churchill museum in london. Definitely a cool visit:






    After that, I went to see the two cathedrals again. Sure, I had seen them, but they're neat, so I went back:






    the other more modern cathedral
    the other more modern cathedral

    the nice museums I had been to
    the nice museums I had been to

    darn, the photo was off by a bit :)
    darn, the photo was off by a bit :)






    From there, I still couldn't get the damn electric scooters working because they required to validate my drivers license, sigh..., so it was a long walk to the world museum, where I spent the rest of the day. As explained in the separate page (click me), the world museum is an everything museum, and it was actually quite good:



    And that was it for visiting Liverpool, it definitely has plenty to see (1.5 to 2 days at least).

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    2021/09/01 Birmingham
    π 2021-09-01 01:01 in England2021, Ntrips, Uk
    -

    Birmingham was not meant to be a destination on my trip, but iven that the Cosford RAF Museum (click me) was definitely a destination for me. It was a pain to get to (had ot take a train to Stafford and an expensive uber to get there without wasting an extra 1H+), but it was definitely worth it, especially with the private 3H+ tour that I got, it was fantastic:





    FOMO me, instead of spending more time in the museum, elected to take an uber that was driving by (they are rare in the area, so that was a stroke of luck), I decided to spend the rest of the day in Birmingham and go visit the Thinktank Science Museum (clickme), which actually was a fairly decent science museum:




    I then had just a few minutes outside of the train station before catching a long and slow transcontinental train to Cambridge:



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    2021/09/02 2 Days in Cambridge
    π 2021-09-02 01:01 in England2021, Ntrips, Uk
    As part of my 2021 quick festival tour of england, on my way back to London for Trance on the Thames and ABGT 450, I stopped in Cambridge on the way. Of course, Cambridge has plenty to see, although many of the colleges were still closed to visitors due to covid (Cambridge was much more careful than London which didn't seem to give a rat's ass about covid).

    After arriving the previous night and checking in my hotel, my "we had never met in person" LED hacker friend, Louis Beaudoin of Pixelmatix fame. Since I had my dual CPU LED outfit with me for the festivals I was going to, I showed it to him, and we geeked out on LEDs:



    -

    The next day, I went to the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, hands down the best flight museum in England with an active runway and all kinds of scenic flights:




    Seriously, go see my report of the Imperial War Museum in Duxford

    The other cool thing is that while I was there, I rented a plane to do a scenic flight over Cambridge to get great views (clickme). A few examples below:





    It was not possible to get an uber back to town (only there in the morning), and getting a cab also took a very long time, but thankfully I found someone who had called one already and shared her cab back to the train station. Soon after, I went back our to meet the Woddhouses at Midsummer House, an excellent 2 michelin star rated restaurant



    The next morning, I went to meet Anna and Paul who were nice enough to come meet me for breakfast to catch up:


    I then went on in town to visit several of the smaller museums: Sedgwick Museum of Earth Science, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Museum of Classical Archaeology, and he Fitzwilliam Museum (that one was a highlight). Thanks to Louis for giving tips on what to go see. By then I had finally figured out how to use the stupid scooters they had lying around, you literally had to give them a valid drivers license and ID before you were trusted to use one, and only in some streets, as many were geofenced out...













    I then went to meet Louis and family for some punting which he suggested, and that was a great idea: it is actually the best way to see nice views from colleges from the water side:












    I gave punting a shot at the end. I wasn't too terrible ;)
    I gave punting a shot at the end. I wasn't too terrible ;)

    I then had a timed entry for the small Whipple Museum of the History of Science:




    and the time I had left, I scootered around to see one college that did let me in, and others from the outside:













    It was then time to hurry back to my hotel by the train station and catch a train back to London for Trance on the Thames.

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    2021/09/02 End of Trip in London for Trance on the Thames and ABGT 450 + England 2021 trip wrapup
    π 2021-09-02 01:01 in England2021, Ntrips, Uk
    This was the end of my 2021 quick festival tour of england -

    As part of my Trance in Europe trip, I went to:

  • Creamfields
  • Trance on the Thames with Thrillseekers (this page) as soon as I arrived back in London
  • It gave me great views of London at night:






  • ABGT 450 at Drumsheds, London was my last day in London before flying out to Romania


  • And just like that, my trip of England was over.

    Highlights:

  • Visiting the Mclaren factory
  • The really good flight museums, plus Betchley Park
  • Flying myself over cambridge in a cessna
  • Meeting some of my friends (Jerome, David, Louis, Anna & Paul)
  • While creamfields had clear issues, it was run badly, and included mean staff, still interesting to see once. Trance on the thames was great ,and ABGT was also fun.
  • Getting around without a car was possible, even if it included some expensive ubers here and there
  • Lowlights:

  • Not having a car meant I sometimes had my luggage with me. That was a huge problem as England does no profiling and everyone is a potential terrorist carrying bombs. That was very very lame to be honest
  • Actually creamfields half banned my outfit because of those ridiculous over the top fears
  • Covid handling was puzzling to say the least. Full musical theatres without anyone wearing a mask?
  • Anyway, That was a good trip, happy that I got to go and see a bunch of things I had missed in my last trip.

    2023/12/29 Another Few Hours in Manchester
    π 2023-12-29 01:01 in Ntrips, Uk
    I was able to have a quick day in Manchester a few years back, and this time I was back as part of a very quick trip to go see Rebooted Trance Made in Sheffield. Turns out flying to Manchester was of course quicker but also cheaper than taking the train all the way to Sheffield, even with the Eurostar, so that gave me a few hours in Manchester on the day I landed, and just before taking off the next day.

    small airbus A310 from Paris to Manchester
    small airbus A310 from Paris to Manchester

    Manchester University
    Manchester University



    The Manchester Museum inside the univeritsy, had a bit of everything but wasn't bad:














    Kakapo!
    Kakapo!





    Had a very short time downtown before having to take the train to Sheffield:



    some amount of train issues around that time, but thankfully mine ran
    some amount of train issues around that time, but thankfully mine ran

    On the way back from Sheffield, had a couple of hours before having to head out:

    St Mary's RC Church
    St Mary's RC Church




    I had just enough time for the Manchester Art Gallery, which was pretty small and perfectly matched the time I had left:









    From there, it was time to go to Xmas at Heaton Park




    And then it was just the right time to get back to Manchester Airport for my flight back Paris. It was really nice, definitely liked it:


    new security screening that allowed bottled water and could actually see inside my luggage for a change
    new security screening that allowed bottled water and could actually see inside my luggage for a change

    lounge was open just long enough to enjoy it before my flight back to Paris
    lounge was open just long enough to enjoy it before my flight back to Paris

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    2023/12/29 Small Google Manchester Office
    π 2023-12-29 01:01 in Google, Uk
    Last time in Manchester, I totally failed to look up the google office there, but this time around I stopped here briefly, which worked out as it was really just a portion of a floor, very quick visit.





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    2023/12/29 Very Quick Trip Through Sheffield
    π 2023-12-29 01:01 in Ntrips, Uk
    Sheffield was not quite on my travel list, but thanks to Rebooted Trance Made in Sheffield, it became on my list :)

    Very quick trip, rainy the entire time, it's the uk in december, so what else should I expect? :)






    A quick stop at the Sheffield Cathedral:






    The highlight of the short visit, however, was Sheffield National Videogame Museum.



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    2023/12/30 National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, UK
    π 2023-12-30 01:01 in Computers, Sciencemuseums, Uk
    While briefly in Sheffield, I had a little bit of time before going back to Manchester, and the most enticing place to visit was the National Videogame Museum.
    Once there, I only had about 1H as it closes betweeen 13:00 and 14:00. I didn't have a much time to play, but enough time to look around and enjoy the collection:






    The various historical collections were fairly good:












    Hopefully I'll be back in Sheffield one day, and will have time to play more next time.


    2023/12/30 Another Xmas in the Park, In Mamchester's Heaton Park
    π 2023-12-30 01:01 in Outings, Uk
    While Around Manchester for 1.5 days, my last stop was to visit Xmas At Heaton Park, some nice decorations that were nice to checkout just before going back to the airport and flying back to Paris.
    They did a good job:







    after fasting for 48H, best hot chocolate ever :)
    after fasting for 48H, best hot chocolate ever :)










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